Last updated: August 5, 2021

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Electric impact wrenches are often the decisive helpers in an emergency situation. With your new tool, you can change your tyres on your own in no time. By no longer having to unscrew the nuts and bolts of your tyres manually with a wheel spider, the electric impact wrench saves you a lot of time and energy. Unlike pressure impact wrenches, you don't need a compressor with an electric impact wrench, just a power socket.

With our big electric impact wrench test 2021 we would like to make your decision for the right impact wrench easier. We have compared the electric impact wrench with cable and high voltage, with low voltage and the electric impact wrench with rechargeable battery and listed the respective advantages and disadvantages.




Summary

  • An electric impact wrench is an electrically-powered screwdriver that works with impact-like rotary movements.
  • Impact wrenches can be divided into three types: those powered by electricity from a socket, those connected to a cigarette lighter and battery-powered impact wrenches.
  • The maximum torque is decisive for how much power the tool has. The higher the torque, the stronger the tool and the more comfortable the work can be.

The Best Electric Impact Wrench: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for electric impact wrenches

In this section, we will show you what criteria you can use to decide between the wide range of electric impact wrenches.

You should consider and compare the following criteria:

In the following, we explain what the different criteria mean and what is important.

Size / weight

Mostly, the problem is that electric impact wrenches are very heavy and unwieldy. However, this is due to the impact and rotary gears.

With smaller and lighter tools, the resistance is lower. Accordingly, these tools are suitable for finer and lighter overhead work. They are also easier to handle and lighter. It should be noted, however, that a small and light device also has a weaker motor.

Battery-powered impact wrenches are heavier than corded impact wrenches.

Large electric impact wrenches with high resistance are mostly used for tedious work. However, the weight and size of the tool should not interfere with the work. Large impact wrenches are mostly used for jobs such as changing tyres.

The intended use is decisive for which tool you should choose.

Maximum torque

Torque is the amount of force exerted on a rotating body and is measured in Newton metres.

The higher the speed, the stronger the tool.

In relation to an electric impact wrench, the torque indicates how strongly a screw can be tightened. When buying, make sure that the tightening and loosening torque is specified. Ideally, these torques should be the same and as high as possible.

Electric impact wrenches with adjustable torque have the advantage that, for example, all screws can be tightened evenly. This way you have an overview and can check your work carefully. In addition, wear or break-off of the screws is avoided.

Idle speed

The no-load speed is a physical parameter that indicates the number of revolutions in a certain period of time on electric impact wrenches without offering any resistance. When the electric impact wrench is simply switched on and turning in the user's hand, these revolutions are the idle revolutions. They are measured at one revolution per minute (rpm).

The maximum torque multiplied by the idle speed gives the power in rpm.

Power

When buying an electric impact wrench, it is important to know what kind of power the tool has. The power indicates how much electrical energy the impact wrench converts into mechanical energy in one minute.

The maximum power delivered by the power source is the power rating for electric impact wrenches. This is called the maximum power input. It is higher than the actual power of the electric impact wrench.

When electric energy is converted into mechanical energy, heat is lost, for example. As a result, the power output is lower than the power input from the power source.

The power is expressed in watts (W).

Possible cable length

The length of the cable is a decisive aspect in the selection of a suitable electric impact wrench.

It is crucial that the cable can be passed from the socket to the workplace. This avoids unnecessary extensions and allows you to carry out your work more comfortably.

An electric impact wrench with a short cable can reduce the radius of your workplace. For this reason, experience has shown that the cable should be at least 3 m long. If you are working in a place where there is no power socket, you can buy an extension cord or a cable drum.

Battery life

If you decide to buy an impact wrench with a rechargeable battery, it is a good idea to find out what the manufacturer says about the battery life.

The battery life indicates the time in which the stored power is delivered. It is important to check the battery level before use. This way you avoid interrupting your work.

Most commercially available impact wrenches with a rechargeable battery have a torque of 24-150 Nm, in contrast to electric impact wrenches. An impact wrench with a rechargeable battery also has the advantage of mobility.

Decision: What types of electric impact wrenches are there and which is the right one for me?

If you want to buy an electric impact wrench, there are three types of products you can choose from.

In the following section, we will differentiate between the three product types and list and explain the respective advantages and disadvantages in more detail.

Electric impact wrench with cable and high voltage

Electric impact wrench with cable and high voltage

Despite the cable, you are not completely limited with an impact wrench. However, if the cable is too short, a cable drum would not be a superfluous investment. However, you should pay attention to the cable length before buying.

The only difference to the products listed below is the voltage.

Advantages
  • High maximum torque
  • No long waiting time for charging
  • No extra accessories needed
  • Can be used for different activities
Disadvantages
  • Dependence on a power socket
  • Interference from cables

Cable-operated impact wrenches have the advantage that they are cheaper than battery-operated impact wrenches. The price for the rechargeable battery does not apply here. Extra accessories such as a charging station for the battery are not needed. With an electric impact wrench, you avoid long waiting times. The battery does not need to be charged before use and can be used at any time.

However, you should pay attention to the cable length of your impact wrench. These vary depending on the model and manufacturer. From experience, we recommend a minimum length of 3 m.

Electric impact wrenches are best suited for long jobs that require high torque. If you don’t have a compressor, a 230V impact wrench is a good alternative.

Electric impact wrenches with cable and low voltage

Electric impact wrenches with cable and low voltage

Low-voltage electric impact wrenches also draw power through the cable. The low-voltage devices are connected to the cigarette lighter. However, you have the option of buying an adapter for a standard socket.

Advantages
  • Can be used without a socket
  • No long waiting time for charging
  • Practical solution for punctures
  • Sufficient cable length
Disadvantages
  • Car battery is discharged
  • Only for work on the car

It is an advantage that you can use the device without a common socket. Most 12V devices have a long cable that allows you to easily reach your tyres.

It is a disadvantage that the product draws its power from the car battery. You must make sure that your car battery is sufficiently charged, otherwise it will discharge and may cause other problems.

This type of product is suitable for you if you:

  • you want to use the impact wrench for motor vehicles
  • you do not have a power socket near your workplace
  • want to be equipped for emergencies on the road
Electric impact wrench with rechargeable battery

Electric impact wrench with rechargeable battery

The battery-operated impact wrench draws its power from the built-in rechargeable battery. This must be charged at a standard socket before use.

The amperage is the decisive factor. The more amps, the longer the battery will last.

Cordless operation makes your work easier. However, you should be aware that battery-powered impact wrenches usually weigh more. When choosing a suitable and correct battery, you should opt for a lithium-ion battery. These are powerful and lighter compared to other batteries.

Advantages
  • Easy to store
  • Independent working
Disadvantages
  • More weight
  • Overhead work is more difficult
  • Extra accessories needed
  • Long waiting times

Battery-powered impact wrenches can be used anywhere. However, you should bear in mind that battery-powered impact wrenches have a corresponding weight, as such batteries are quite heavy. For this reason, this type of impact wrench is not recommended for overhead work. For work over a longer period of time, you should buy spare batteries to bridge charging times.

It is an advantage that you do not need a socket or cigarette lighter. This allows you to work independently and without restrictions.

This type of product is suitable for you if:

  • you want to use your impact wrench on the road and flexibly
  • it is no problem for you to work with a heavy tool

Guide: Frequently asked questions about electric impact wrenches answered in detail

In the following section, we have answered the most important questions about electric impact wrenches in detail. After reading this section, you will have the essential knowledge for this tool.

How does an electric impact wrench work?

An electric impact wrench is a tool that is powered by electricity. It has an electric motor and is mostly used for changing tyres and loosening and tightening nuts and bolts. However, the tool is not used for drilling.

Electric impact wrenches can be divided into two main types, battery-powered impact wrenches and mains-powered impact wrenches.

Elektro Schlagschrauber-1

With an electric impact wrench, you can change your tyres without manual tools and without any effort.
(Image source: Somwan/ 123rf.com)

Do not confuse an impact wrench with a drill. The difference is that an impact wrench has an impact function and works with abrupt rotary movements. With an impact wrench, the rotary movement is interrupted at one point and passed on as a vibrating movement. In contrast to a drill, the impact wrench has a much higher torque.

What are the alternatives to an electric impact wrench?

An alternative to the electric impact wrench is the pneumatic wrench.

Compressed air wrenches are used to loosen tight screws due to the high torque. Since the tool works without electronics, they have a longer service life than electric impact wrenches.

Compressed air screwdrivers are suitable for workshops and electric impact screwdrivers for private households.

The impact wrench can be used anywhere without electricity. A compressor with compressed air is required for use. However, this must have the appropriate air supply. Such compressors are available in every workshop. Normal households rarely have such a compressor.

The rigid hose of the air compressor makes your work more difficult. Your movement is restricted. The hose is also difficult to store because of the material.

How can I change my car tyres with an electric impact wrench?

Changing a wheel with an electric impact spanner works in exactly the same way as with a Phillips spanner. But it is not really easy. For this reason, many car owners resort to the alternative with the impact wrench. The principle is the same. This saves you time and money, as tyre changes in workshops or through breakdown services are usually expensive.

Elektro Schlagschrauber-2

With the impact wrench, changing your own tyres is done in a flash
(Image source: Milz/ 123rf.com)

We explain in a few steps how you can change your tyres with an electric impact wrench:

  1. Pull off the hub cap
  2. Loosen wheel nuts (make sure your tool is set to unscrew)
  3. replace the old tyres with new ones
  4. Tighten the wheel nuts (make sure your tool is set to screw in)
  5. check with a torque spanner

What are the well-known manufacturers of electric impact wrenches?

Basically, there are several manufacturers that market electric impact wrenches.

The most well-known manufacturers in this category according to comparative studies are:

  • Hazet
  • Hesselink
  • Matika
  • Unitec
  • Bosch

Which manufacturer you will choose depends on your criteria. Basically, you should decide on a variant of the electric impact wrench. Think about the purpose for which you need your new tool. The manufacturers we have listed are the ones that offer the best buying advice.

How much does an electric impact wrench cost?

Electric impact wrenches can be bought in different price categories. Depending on which tool you choose, the prices are very different. It all depends on how often you want to use your impact wrench. For daily use, you should spend a little more.

Type Price
Electric impact wrench with cable and high voltage approx. 40 - 250 €
Electric impact wrench with cable and low voltage approx. 30 - 150 €
Electric impact wrench with battery approx. 50 - 300 €

Can I rent an electric impact wrench?

In principle, it is possible to rent electronic impact wrenches in Germany. Numerous dealers and private individuals offer their tools for hire. Companies such as boels.de offer both private individuals and businesses their tools for rent.

You can also find them on ebay-kleinanzeigen.de. However, when renting from private individuals, you must be aware that these advertisements are location-dependent.

If you have decided to buy an electric impact wrench, take a look at the many rental offers.

Image source: Allexxandar/ 123rf.com

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